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Wednesday 26th October 2016

Lancet retracts MMR link to autism report

3rd February 2010

The Lancet has released a statement to say it fully retracts the claims made by research about the MMR vaccine it published in 1998.


The medical journal said it was aware that the researchers' ideas were 'false'. Last week Dr Andrew Wakefield, the study's chief researcher, was found to have 'broken research rules' by the General Medical Council.

The study linked the MMR jab with autism and bowel disease. The release of the 1998 paper saw a decrease in MMR jabs and an increase in the number of measles cases.

The Lancet had previously published a partial retraction of the paper, but had stated that they were correct to publish it in the interest of raising 'new ideas'.

However they accepted 'in hindsight' that this interest may have been incorrect because Dr Wakefield was paid by solicitors who represented parents who thought their children had been harmed by the vaccine.

The latest full retraction showed the journal accepted that the research was essentially defective due to the presentation of the children's conditions.

Professor Adam Finn, a leading paediatrician based at the University of Bristol Medical School, said: "This is not before time. Let's hope this will do something to re-establish the good reputation of this excellent vaccine."

"And I hope the country can now draw a line under this particular health scare and move onto new opportunities for vaccination."


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